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The requirements for imports and exports are mainly determined by two questions: whether the country is an EU member state or a non-EU country and what is being imported or exported.
In the EU internal market, food generally circulates freely, but there are some exceptions, in particular for food of animal origin. Internal market trade refers to imports or exports between another EU country, Norway or Switzerland. The actual import and export trade takes place with countries outside the EU.
If you are planning to start, make changes to or terminate operations in the import of foodstuffs of animal origin within the internal EU market, please submit a notification to the City of Helsinki environmental services.
You need an export certificate when you export animals, products of animal origin and plant products to outside the EU. Veterinarians at Helsinki environmental services issue export certificates for foodstuffs and other products of animal and plant origin.
Submit a notification on starting or altering import activities for foodstuffs of animal origin from the internal market
Imports from the internal market refer to imports from other EU countries. Notifications of the commencement, change and termination of internal import activities of food of animal origin from the internal market can be submitted to the Food Safety Unit of the City of Helsinki via the Ilppa e-service or on a separate form.
In connection with the commencement of import operations, you must also submit a notification of the establishment of food premises or a substantial change of operations.
If you are unable to submit the notification in the Ilppa service, fill in the PDF or Word form and send it by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org(Link opens default mail program)
Use the online service
Fill in a form
Notification of imports of food of animal origin from the internal EU market
You must submit a monthly notification to the Finnish Food Authority of food of animal origin imported from within the EU.
The summary notification of imports of food of animal origin must be submitted at least four times a year using the monthly notification form that is available on the Finnish Food Authority’s website. If you submit a notification to the Finnish Food Authority via another channel, you must also submit the notification to the municipal supervisory authority.
You can read the requirements for the internal market import of food of animal origin in the instructions published by the Food Safety Unit, Imports of food of animal origin to Finland from other EU Member States (PDF in Finnish)
Monthly notification form for intra-EU importers (Finnish Food Authority)(Link leads to external service)
Imports of foodstuffs from outside the EU
You may import foodstuffs from outside the EU if they meet the EU and Finnish requirements and are not subject to an import ban. Customs controls the imports of foodstuffs of non-animal origin from outside the EU. The Finnish Food Authority controls the import of foodstuffs of animal origin, such as meat, fish or milk, from outside the EU. More information is available in the services of Customs(Link leads to external service)and the Finnish Food Authority(Link leads to external service).
Export of foodstuffs
If you export food produced in Finland to another EU country, you are usually not required to have export certificates or other permits. Please note that, for example, with regard to packaging labelling, you must ensure that it meets the requirements of the destination country.
Exports to countries outside the EU require that the products meet the requirements of the exporting country. The operator is responsible for finding out what the export requirements are. The Finnish Food Authority’s website(Link leads to external service) contains a vast array of country-specific information on export requirements.
Export certificates for foodstuffs
You need an export certificate when you export animals, products of animal origin and plant products to outside the EU. Veterinarians at Helsinki environmental services issue export certificates for foodstuffs and other products of animal and plant origin. If you need an export certificate, please send an email to the Food Safety Unit at email@example.com(Link opens default mail program)
More information on the export of foodstuffs and other animal and plant products is available on the Finnish Food Authority’s website(Link leads to external service).